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CHICAGO (CBS) — A Metra train trip from the north suburbs that normally takes less than two hours dragged into a seven-hour excursion Monday after fallen trees and debris wreaked havoc on the Union Pacific North line tracks.
Ivison Mitchell boarded the train at 7:50 a.m. in Waukegan, as storms with hurricane-force winds barreled into the Chicago region. Conductor Keith Dunn says the commuter train encountered a large tree across the tracks after the Great Lakes station.
“Mother Nature calls – we’ve got to listen,” Dunn told CBS 2 upon the train’s arrival at the Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago around 3 p.m.
Even after the train cleared the blockage, the damaged locomotive puttered along at 10 mph to Chicago. For those who decided to stay on the train, it was maddeningly slow.
Mitchell described it this way: “Like I’ve been in a pickle jar or a sardine can for eight hours.”
Limbs and branches were still stuck to the top of the train when it pulled into the Chicago station.
Metra reported various service delays across its network Monday in connection with the storm.